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Rule of Thumb

By Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida: Crooked Letter Press, 2021. Edition of 40.

Dimensions closed: 11” x 6.5” x 1.5”; 24 pages including free end pages. Materials: colorplan 300 gsm paper, letterpress ink, tyvek, book cloth, metal brads and grommets. Printed on and constructed from Colorplan paper. Letterpress printed from linoleum reduction blocks and photopolymer plates. Printed using Goudy Old Style typeface for text and Fette UNZ Franktur for titles; Frutiger typefaces for Colophon. Accordion spine binding with illustrated boards. Laid in matching folding box. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Crooked Letter Press: "'Rule of Thumb' is a moveable book about the historical human obsession with ourselves and with approval from others. In the last 10 years, we have become obsessed with living online instead of actual living. We seem to only care about how many thumbs up, likes, or hearts we can accumulate on social media platforms. We practice a psychological social separation. We live virtual lives. Now, with the proliferation of the COVID-19 virus, we are living with the physical reality of social-distancing. How will we make it back? Can we make it back? 'Rule of Thumb' considers the ways in which humans have used our thumbs to, at best, twist reality, and at worst, ruin ourselves."

A lovely visual book by Ellen Knudson using types of moveable construction to accentuate the use of thumbs in our lives. There are pull tabs, volvelles as well as a pop-up thumb to accentuate how often we use of thumbs. She accompanies the illustrations and movables with quotations about thumbs in use. There is the "Sticks out like a sore thumb" with a volvelle to move a thumb into position. Quotes and references range from "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones to a quote from "Satires" by Juvenal (100 AD).

Rule of Thumb

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